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From Arbuthnot to Boltzmann: The Past-hypothesis, Special Sciences and the Best System

Frisch, Mathias (2010) From Arbuthnot to Boltzmann: The Past-hypothesis, Special Sciences and the Best System. In: [2009] EPSA09: 2nd Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (Amsterdam, 21-24 October, 2009) > EPSA 2009 Symposia.

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    Abstract

    In recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics and the arrow of time, Barry Loewer and David Albert have developed a view that defends both a Best System account of laws and a physicalist fundamentalism. In this paper I argue that there exists a tension between their account of laws, which emphasizes the pragmatic element in assessing the relative strength of different deductive systems, and their reductivism or fundamentalism. If we take the pragmatic dimension in their account seriously, then the laws of the special sciences should be part of the best system as well.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Lewis, laws, statistical physics, reductionism
    Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
    General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Conferences and Volumes: [2009] EPSA09: 2nd Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (Amsterdam, 21-24 October, 2009) > EPSA 2009 Symposia
    Depositing User: Mathias Frisch
    Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5204
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5204

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